Our community engagement programme Urban Ark is all about Auckland Zoo helping create, support and inspire communities to establish safe habitats for native wildlife to thrive in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.

Urban Ark’s mission is to help make Auckland abundant with and safe for New Zealand native wildlife.

Through plant and animal pest control, monitoring, restoration and Auckland Zoo’s schools and outreach programmes, Aucklanders of all ages will be encouraged and supported to come to the rescue of native wildlife, the taonga on their doorstep – and we’d love you to join us!


Education & Outreach

We're helping to educate the next generation about wildlife and wild places, including our outreach programme that welcomes school classes on conservation-based field trips to Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary

Learn more >

Recently, our Pest Management Co-ordinator Siȃn Buley, was interviewed by Ponsonby News to discuss our pest control efforts both at Auckland Zoo and in our local community. 

"Auckland is known to be one of the most progressive zoos, and one of the few with a full time pest management role. The team also recently employed a second staff member to enable their expertise to have an impact outside the fence, as part of their upcoming ‘Urban Ark’ project."

"We do have an amazing zoo right at our back door, whose dedicated staff work hard to create realistic habitats for its animals, and protect native wildlife. The zoo’s pest management programme concentrates quite intensively on rats. They need to be controlled to very low levels due to predation and disease risk and competition for animal food." - John Elliott. 

You can read the full Ponsonby News article here.

Our New Zealand precinct, Te Wao Nui is home to precious native species such as the endangered kea, orange-fronted kākāriki, kererū (wood pigeon), tĪeke (saddleback) and kākā. In The Night section you can find ruru (morepork) and New Zealand's national icon, the Kiwi.

Learn more about these endemic animals and what makes them so special by visiting our dedicated animal pages below. 


Meet kererū Rui!

Bird keeper Nat introduces our kererū Rui and explains whats so special about these endemic pigeons.

Showing that that skills our field conservation and pest control teams bring to the Urban Ark programme go beyond Aotearoa shores, they’re working with our South Pacific community to save Samoa’s national bird, the Manumea. Forming part of our wider field conservation strategy, this three year project in partnership with the Samoa Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Samoa Conservation Society was created to assist Samoa in their goal to boost the populations of their native reptiles, plants, birds and save their national bird - the critically endangered manumea. One of the ways we are doing this is by helping to control the rampant rat population that predates on these vulnerable bird species.

Learn more by watching our three-part series with Auckland Zoo Pest Management Co-ordinator Siȃn as she arrives in Upolu, Samoa to share her expertise where it counts, in Malololelei reserve.